Had the United States not entered climate policy again, it would have been difficult to see that the world could have achieved the goals set out in the Paris Agreement, says climate researcher at Bjerknes Eystein Jansen.
During President Joe Biden’s climate summit on Thursday, it was announced that the United States is raising its climate target. By 2030, the country should have cut 50 to 52 percent, compared to the 2005 level.
The emissions gap means the distance between actual emissions and what is needed to achieve the goal in the Paris Agreement to limit global warming to 1.5 degrees.
These are clearly some important steps in the right direction, and they will have many positive impacts, says Cicero Research Leader Steffen Kallbekken.
More than a hundred countries have not reported targets
But despite the fact that the United States has donned a green jersey, for now it is 106 land Which has yet to announce new and enhanced climate targets.
That’s what the member states of the Paris Agreement are bound by every five years – 2021 is really one year of overtime.
Big emitters, such as China, India and Russia, were also expected to reach tougher climate goals during the Biden meeting. This did not happen.
Many have also criticized the United States for the new climate target is not ambitious enough, as they are the second most emitting greenhouse gases in the world.
According to the CAT analysis, a US climate target of 57-63 percent would also be consistent with hitting the 1.5 score target.
Cicero’s Kallbekken believes it’s about having realistic expectations, and says the United States wasn’t long ago completely withdrawing from international climate policy.
One could always say the United States should cut more. But if we see what this could mean in the long term, that is an important equation for where the world wants to be in 2030, says Kalbekin.
Renowned climate scientist Michael Mann also says in an interview with PBS NewsHour That the United States is now providing an important model to the world.
The positive thing is that we don’t need a miracle to manage this. We have the technology in place, and now we have the leadership that believes in climate change. The important thing left, says Mann, is now to pass climate legislation through Congress.
Important preparations before Glasgow
Biden’s goal at the climate summit was to pressure many nations to come up with tougher climate targets.
These goals will be announced officially at the Glasgow Climate Summit this fall. Countries like Japan and Canada boosted their targets on Thursday.
Climate researcher Eastin Janssen has been, among other things, the lead author of the last two reports from the United Nations Climate Committee (IPCC).
He notes that the US initiative is an important preparation for the climate summit.
When many countries have this before Glasgow, you avoid the problems that often appear at the peaks, says Janssen, and continues:
They have a lot of things to discuss, so there is a greater chance that the two countries will come to terms now with other decisions that will be important to the escalation plan in the Paris Agreement.
At the same time, he stressed that it would be important to make appropriate commitments during the summit.
Stricter commitments than during previous summits must be affirmed. If not, the goals of the Paris Agreement are nearly impossible. There is still no real indication of a reduction in global emissions. So it remains to be seen if we can actually do so. So Glasgow this year will be very important, he says.
What happens in Glasgow?
The rules of the Paris Agreement are subject to change
It was called an international victory when in 2015 the United Nations countries joined the Paris Agreement, which will ensure that the world does not warm to 1.5 degrees.
Although member states have a rulebook to adhere to, there is still disagreement on topics such as emissions accounting and voluntary market mechanisms.
How should the world adapt to climate change?
What’s called Adapt to the climate Become an assignment in Glasgow. Countries should agree on global targets for this, not the least of which is how to finance it. The latter is expected to inflame.
How will the rich help the poor?
It is the largest and richest country in the world behind the largest greenhouse gas emissions, and climate change is taking a heavy toll on vulnerable countries that struggle to adapt.
Thus, countries that can cover the expenses and help with climate damage in the poor countries will be important in Glasgow.
Better climate solutions
Member countries will consider the gap between reported climate targets and commitments, and what is actually required to achieve the 1.5 score target. Currently, this gap is large.
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Many non-state actors and other groups lack representation during climate summits. How to include them more broadly must be considered in more detail.
He can create a new trading market
China is the country with the most greenhouse gas emissions in the world.
Calbekin is not surprised at the lack of sharp targets on Thursday, nor does he think he needs to hang his head above this.
They will probably direct themselves, and they will not release their target at the US meeting. But the ambitious goals of the United States could influence the internal debate in the country, he says, and he asserts that they could reduce the risk of trade leakage and make it cheaper for China to pursue an ambitious climate policy with the United States in the market.
The pressure on other countries, which are not cooperating on the climate front, also believes that we will see more.
We saw very strongly in 2015, after the Paris Agreement, that the United States was putting heavy pressure on countries like Saudi Arabia and India. They will likely use their political and economic power again, and I think this will be of great importance, he says.
Janssen also highlights the US-China dialogue as a positive factor.
These are the two most important countries in the world when it comes to climate. He adds that they now have a constructive dialogue, although they struggle to talk to each other in other areas.